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Tempo (Sega 32X) artwork

Tempo (Sega 32X) review

"ďA very small percentage of people may experience a seizure when exposed to visual images, including flashing lights or patterns that may appear in video games.Ē "

ďA very small percentage of people may experience a seizure when exposed to visual images, including flashing lights or patterns that may appear in video games.Ē

The developers of Tempo seem to have a score to settle with epileptics. Iím not kidding. Even those who have never had a seizure may find that playing Tempo will be their ticket to unnaturally twitching limbs and foaming mouths. Painfully bright colours and aggressively shifting, glowing patterns lurk violently in the world of Tempo. Itís almost as if the game was designed to spark headaches.

Donít worry, though, because all of you epileptic types arenít missing much. Tempo is a rather basic platform game that does little to stand away from the crowd. Aside from its bizarre appearance, anyway, which is in fact pretty weird. You play as a grooviní, headphone-wearing cockroach named Tempo who has the ability to kill monsters with musical abilities. Heís on a quest to stop some vile robotic pig king from stealing the entire music supply from the planet, that evil bastard!

Your quest for justice wonít progress easily, though. The levels are so damn big and wide that half the time you wonít know where the fuck youíre supposed to go. Instead you wander around, hoping to stumble across the exit while trying to survive the hallucinogenic backgrounds. To get there, Tempo will have to climb, use his little wings to hover, swing on poles, and throw musical notes at opponents. Killing enemies isnít too hard; you can stun them by throwing notes and then finish them off by kicking them or jumping on their heads.

Along the way youíll also discover an array of dull and rather confusing power ups. You have these numbered gloves that enable you to shoot out more musical notes from your hand, but in odd and unhelpful directions. You can collect headphones that change the background music (why?) and a cocoon that creates a female Tempo who follows you around aimlessly (I ask again, why?). However, you do get two decent powers up. One allows you to become invincible but it changes the BGM to YODELLING! Dear God, yodelling! The other one stems from the game Michael Jacksonís Moonwalker and allows Tempo and his lady friend to bust a move in the level, killing all of the on-screen foes or doing some damage to a boss.

Tempoís enemies arenít very threatening; most of them are bizarre little stick men that just stand around waiting for you to attack them. A few flying birds will actually swoop down and attack you, but youíll see them coming from a mile away. Some enemies tend to bunch together in large groups, which makes it really easy to kill them all. The bosses are a hell of a lot tougher, usually because they pack a tons of damage and fill up three quarters of the screen with their hideous 3D rendering. Some of the boss designs are little dumb, such as the giant boxing gloves, shoes, and headphones, the first of the lot, and an evil dancing clown and a trio of orange divas that follow after. Despite their massive size, bosses are actually pretty damn tough to hit, and one attack from them takes a shitload of your health away. Thankfully, you can pull off your Moonwalker-inspired move during the boss by collecting the falling power up, but youíll make an unpleasant discovery in the process: the bosses can also use these items to perform a dance routine of their own, which packs a wallop and cannot be avoided.

Fitting in with its musical theme, Tempo actually has a real song in the opening title, something that Iíve never seen in a 32X title before. And damn is it one catchy track despite being a little cheesy. ďTempoís in the house, tonight!Ē may sound very corny and old school, but itís definitely something that will come into your head on a number of occasions. Apart from this, Tempo has a quaint collection of music from various genres but nothing that will have you humming in the shower.

On the whole, Tempo is nothing more than an average platform game marred by poor level design and horribly bright visuals. If youíre are into collecting 32X games or into exploring old consoles, itís worth a quick look, but donít expect it to be something special. And if you do decide to pick it up, always remember to play it in a well-lit room with your screen on a low brightness. You know, just in case.

goldenvortex's avatar
Community review by goldenvortex (August 03, 2005)

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